I always like to see photos of other vendors booths around the changing of the seasons. It helps me with display ideas as well as next years growing plan.
Anyone care to share?
your stuff looks great mark. how many people work for you?no pictures but i'm down to just potatoes, sweet potatoes, winter squash, peppers and some eggplant. other stuff limping along in these cool and shortened days.i'm busy setting up the inside growing spaces for winter.
Chanterelle mushrooms! Do you grow them on wood you inoculated or harvest them from the wild?
You have a great looking display with lots of variety. Very nice.
Thanks for the nice words.
Randy, it's just me and the wife helps with harvest and selling at market. Sometimes a friend will come out and help if i'm lucky.
The chanterelles have been super abundant in the woods this year. I don't grow them.
Hope to see some more photos........
i'm impressed by the amount of stuff you produce by yourself. the vendors at my market who have that much have at least 3 people working. always impressed with jay's production too.
trying to link to picture of my display last october.
Here is a link that might be useful:
Here's one from the Saturday before last. I had just changed to a u shape (single 10x10 space) because the forecast called for steady rain. It actually turned out to be decent unlike this last Saturday where market was cancelled! You and your helpers are looking pretty smart for getting all the garlic in early, my favorite ag weather guy makes it sound like no drying periods for October.
I love seeing others way to display as much as possible. We've never had a market cancelled.
Looking awesome, I wish I had time to set up a "prettier" display. I just never seem to have the time to get to market any sooner. I have a question for you and the group, is it better to "Stack it high and watch it fly" meaning put out a huge pile or quantity of a particular crop or just set out a few of them to give the illusion they are almost out and they should buy them now before they are gone.
I usually stack it high as it is hard to get things restocked all the time when you are selling alone. But I have always wondered if I would sell more if I only put out a few of one items.
As a "small" farmer I want to show the customer that I have lots of selection and produce available and appear bigger than I am, I usually set up 6 tables, but I could squeeze it all onto 3 tables, if I had too.
I've always been a stacker for the same reason - restocking takes time and usually has to be done at the busiest time. My personal feeling is that people like to look for the exact item they want (although I hate to see produce manhandled). I have always associated almost empty displays with displays that have been picked over.
I've always been and stacker AND backstocker. I pile it up, but not everything. I usually have much more than I need of many items. So I make a big stack of each item, but still have more in backstock.
With my jellies, I set out 2 pints and at least 2 1/2-pints of each flavor. It still gives the impression of plenty. I restock during each break. It's not as busy as with the produce, but nicely busy.
i show as much as i can of what i brought. if i have enough i'll try to sell it more than one way...like potatoes loose and also potatoes in quarts. the rejects make a good false bottom for the container you're displaying in for when your good stock starts getting low.
Marla, We had the remnants of a typhoon blow through here this weekend. 20mph winds minimum with 40+gusts! Highly unusual for this time of year, unusual for us at all. I decided Friday not to go and then Saturday morning the market put out word that it cancelled all together. I'm sure it was a hard call because vendors rely on the money, but I think it was the right one.
Jay, I have a definite opinion on the stacking issue. I put everything out that I have unless it won't possibly fit (I only have 10x10) I don't think it's bad to have bigger space, I just think it's better to have more in the "pile" I have noticed that it is really hard to sell the last several items of anything. In fact sometimes I'll just toss them in the cooler to use at home when there's only a couple left. This is only my fourth year market farming, and so far my main problem has been growing enough to sell so I have had ample opportunity to observe this phenomenon. This year, with the new hoophouse, plus me just getting smarter with experience, I finally have had to take stuff home with me from market sometimes. It's discouraging to tote stuff up and bring it home, but it never fails that those days will also be very high total sales. I do think that extra space would be helpful sometimes, I see new faces pass by because there is too many people in front of my booth. But not often enough that it is worth it to me yet to pay for more space.
20 mph winds are nothing around here, we just weight the canopies more and keep on doing. Or go without canopies.
Marla, 20mph winds may not be much but Kelise didn't mention that along with the 45mph gusts, there was torrential downpour. The wind stresses everyone out and breaks booths and the rain keeps most people home. The two together meant a crappy market and i'm glad mine cancelled also. (Kelise, which market(s) do you do?)
As for stacking, I agree with the general consensus of "stack it high". Unless there's potential for spoilage, like lettuce in hot weather, I put out as much as I can.
I've seen again and again that when stock runs low on something, people don't readily buy it. Then when I get to stocking it again, it moves. People like to pick through an abundance to find their perfect bunch and as Tom said, it drives me crazy, but as long as they find it and don't damage things, I deal with it.
As the produce starts running out I keep consolidating towards the center of the tables, keeping it looking full, rather than spreading it out and looking sparse. It seems to make a big difference in sales.
Randy, gorgeous sweet potatoes. Kelise, l love the exotic pumpkins, especially the Black Futsu.
Great displays both of you!
And good info from everyone!
Oh goodness the chanterelles! We haven't had many wild mushrooms here in the last few years due to drought. I sure saw a lot in Vancouver! I used to pick a lot.
I have a hard time fitting everything into a 10x10 space. I have even made little paper mock ups of my tables to rearrange and find better ideas (as if a room and furniture). I tried to buy 1.5 spaces but at the last minute we ran out of space when a vendor applied late. I like Mark's slanted high in the back displays like a grocery store. Displays you use depend a lot on each or weighed type selling. If you do eaches you end up with a lot of till baskets. We have that for the most part at my market.
We had a market canceled a couple of years ago for the weather - the remnants of a hurricane were heading up the Mississippi Valley and were forecast to bring pretty severe storms. All the local weathermen were preaching just how bad it was going to be and people got spooked. As we were in an open parking lot at the college, the powers that be were afraid someone would be hit by lightning. In the end it sprinkled about enough to wet the ground but probably better safe than sorry.
our market has been cancelled in the winter due to snow/ice etc. i've been out in severe t'storms holding the ez up so it wouldn't blow away. i'm real smart for holding the steel supports while standing in a puddle with frequent nearby lightening strikes.but you all know how much work it takes to generate the $200 that would be needed to replace an ez up.
On bad days, heavy rain and high winds, we still had customers, I guess Hoosiers are more used to bad weather. When market days arrive, we get customers. They come alittle later, but they do get there. Sales are about 1/2-3/4 of normal, but that's not bad.
We only have winter markets until first saturday of Dec and then nothing til mid-March. All of our markets are outside markets, canopies are the best and only shelter for us.
Heavy rains usually gives us a better customer, since our booth is forever 'brushing' off the bottom of canopies and usually get wet. Free entertainment, and the customers enjoy 'playing' with us. They know we are 'nut-cases' and they don't mind.
Here is our my market in the bigger town on Saturdays. The stalls are 10 by 20 deep, so I set my two tents up back to back and have a long narrow booth. Most people have a wide and shallow booth, but they have to pay more for that, I guess I am just cheap.
These are right out front to catch peoples attention.
Your plants are beautiful! Do you have any kind of preventative spray program for fungus/blight/etc? We lost all of our Toms. this year to late blight (very wet, cool year compared to the norm.).
Anna: I am assuming you clicked on the picture and checked out my photobucket? Well I don't have a preventative spray program. We live on top of a hill with very little wind block, so we always get good airflow. Also it has been a very dry year and that always helps. Finally, everything is on drip irrigation so that keeps the foliage dry.
Here is a picture from last night. It is my Wednesday night set up. This is in the bigger town at a different location than the Saturday morning one. There isn't a limit on booth size, hence the different set up.
Tomatoes are our Bread and Butter, so they are out front (to catch everyone's attention) and the rest is in a "U" shape around the outside. I have my check out right in the middle, that way I can talk to everyone who asks questions and most of the time I am less than 10 feet away. No table cloths as I usually have 20-25 minutes to set up everything before the market starts. I do this market after school, so I don't have a choice. The jellies do get a cloth as I have had them slide off and break.
The tomatoes are pick your own, I have bowls that people place their selections in then I way them up. The scales are tared for bowl and bag. It is quick and easy. I never have problems with people squishing tomatoes.
Here was my booth at our hometown weekend Fall Festival last Saturday. We were set up all day, 6 am til 4 pm. That is why I have the table cloths. I usually do this so our family can use the booth as a gathering and parking point. We sell more Jams and Jellies than anything here, but the produce helps pay for the booth space. The vendor #ers were down, due to the rainy forecast, but it ended up being a nice day.
Jay where do you stand when set up like in the last pic?
I see you have an open pickup and trailer to haul so much stuff and tables. The way our market is set up means no trailers, that is your booth space.
Definitely fall stuff here now. It rained all morning and was cool enough to leave greens out on the table which was nice. The market weather was ok, cool, but customer and vendor count was terrible. People stop coming mid September and there is so much produce to sell!
I set up a little different because I wasn't sure about rain. I find I have to push my product forward because people seem scared to come far into my booth sometimes.
Tomatoes don't sell at all. I think I sold 2 quarts and 1 pint of cherries! I brought sweet potatoes and sold some. I only sold 2 quarts of potatoes, to a market committee member and her senior mom. I didn't have time to pick flowers and herbs but it would have been a waste anyway.
My best product is onions.
In the last picture, I usually stand behind the jellies. We also had another tent set up behind this that had chairs for our family and friends. Also coolers with drinks and snacks for the kids.
Yes I pull the little trailer to every market. I carry my tables, weights and tents in it. I also can put tubs of tomatoes or melons in there. I really like that when I get home, I can leave all the tables in the trailer and don't have to load and unload it. I could stack up the tables and tents in the back of my truck, but pulling the trailer is easier and less stressful.
Tomatoes are still selling well around here. I sold 3 tubs (the large clear ones in the picture) on Wednesday night. Sweet potatoes didn't sell very well, last week they did. This time of the year you never know what will be the big seller!
Fall is definitely here, Saturday high is 81 and sunday's high 62. all next week high is 74 or lower. Calling for frost the following week.
Here is how my booth looked this week. Nice weather and ok market not great.
Minnie, I like how you stacked the coolers. One year, I found one of those plastic covered metal stands for a cooler in a convenience store's throw aways. It just happened to fit one of my coolers.
Wow! There are some pretty stands. I probably should hide away with my tiny table, but i still gonna share... Last farmers market of the season and almost end of the market (table is a bit to the empty side).
I did not get any good pictures this year, but here are a couple of pictures from last year.
First indoor market this morning. It was nice out and I wanted to just set up on the sidewalk instead honestly. There was a craft show at the community center as well so lots of customers and I sold really well. It started slow and then was quite busy. I sold 65# of sweet potatoes and almost every bag of various greens I brought and all the leeks. I had a fall share sell today at the last minute and just barely had enough to cover it without picking more. Jams and baked good sold pretty well too. I had samples out so that made a lot of traffic. One customer complained about the price of delicata squash and yes they had shrunk some so if she had been nice I would have lowered the price. But instead she declared in a huff that she could get it cheaper at the store! I guess she didn't get the memo that local organic farmers don't intend on being cheaper than Walmart with their fresh picked, hand grown produce. Otherwise, great market.
Minnie, I noticed that you put the labels of jams on top, do you use the self-adhesive labels that are already cut out or do you cut it out yourself. I've been putting the labels on the jars, but found that I don't find the restocking item as easy as if I had labels on top.
I use card stock and cut myself with a circle cutter. I hate stuck on labels.
That's what I was wondering. I found one place that said to use milk, just regular milk for adhesive. I tried it and 10 out of 11 jars labels stuck and held for more than 1 week. Surprised me, I was going to try Elmer's school glue, since I always have school supplies around.
There are free programs to make a circle logo the right size. I bought the cutter at Target real cheap and then I cut the circles out and fit them under the rim.
Could you link me to one? Is the cutter for paper? I'm ready to upgrade my look. I'm really getting into this jam/jelly making, along with pickles. I was amazed that I sold as many as I did.
I've got to try that - I have lots of card stock (cheap at BJs, the adhesive sheets are $1/page!). I just don't know if our state regulations require labels to be adhered to jars.
Ours do, or if a uncovered item, ingredients must be on signage nearby. I do labels for the customers PLUS myself. It's so easy to get mixed up.
I found a few websites with already designed labels, printed and glued on with the milk, just for the top of jars. Labels not big enough for all information required.
I used the Avery circle format on their website and then redid it for my logo and stuff.
I'm using regular copy paper in my printer, it's working well so far. Thanks for all your help.
Yeah, I had to design my own labels, with address going around the perimeter, to fit everything the state requires on. Does the milk go sour? I think cardstock is good, I buy really cheap thin paper. Might want to buy some Elmer's. Now I just have to figure out what I did with the last pack of adhesive sheets I bought - and haven't opened! I don't think they made it upstairs to the printer, I had to clean out my car to go to dealer's (free wash and vac) so they're probably in my dining room somewhere with the Xmas china I've been trying to sell on eBay for a few years (haul it out of the attic every Nov - down to the last few pieces, I might as well give to Salvation Army!).
I haven't noticed any sour smell even after a couple of months. I don't think it's enough to worry about. You just need enough to wet the label or lid. I've used Q-tips or just dipping the label, both ways worked.
I use the cheapest paper also, to me card stock would be heavy and more expensive.
I use the card stock to make cutting small circles possible.
Here are pics from yesterday's market. Very busy in the community center but not many buying. We had more vendors than in November and way too many baked goods!
I am not sure about the next couple markets in January and February but I will probably go but with less baked goods and less overhead.
We had another winter market on Saturday morning. It was -2 when we got in the car to drive to market. We had a decent day, but it could have been better.
It hasn't been above freezing since Tuesday ( that was the day I harvested). I hope it gets above freezing this week.
That's awesome to see the fresh greens. I did get to pick one time last December but this year is horrendous here!
Things look great Jay, especially those sweet potatoes.
Still below freezing today so not much of a harvest for market tomorrow. Hopefully some things will survive and it'll pick back up next week.
Thanks Mark. We are going to be above freezing today for the first time in a week today also. We were as cold as -2. We got some sun yesterday, but it was too late to do much warming. I looked under the row covers, wish I didn't though. Things weren't looking very good. I am just thankful I backed off my plantings and I don't have that much planted for this winter. Our winter markets haven't been as well attended and this winter has been much colder, much sooner than usual.
Where did you get your purple sweet potatoes from? I have been thinking of growing them for a few years now, but was not sure if I wanted to put the money toward them, plus I grow way too many potato/sweet potato varieties as it is. But, I saw your post on your blog about the purple sweet potatoes, they are just so beautiful, now I think I am going to have to try them next year.
There are several places that have them. Seed Savers Exchange is where I started. I also ordered some from George's Plant Farm (www.tatorman.com) They are expensive to order as slips and most places limit quantities. I have started to keep back the nicer potatoes and start growing my own slips. I am going to do this again this year. It is easy to grow your own slips. Order early if you are going to go this route. Most sell out quickly. Early is as in January or even now.